In honor of those who put their faith and fate in the hands of swirling balls of dust . . .

According to [the Minnesota Planetarium Society’s Parke] Kunkle, there really should be a 13th sign, Ophiuchus. It seems the Babylonians who invented the zodiac skipped Ophiuchus because they wanted only 12 signs. Here is where the real signs of the zodiac should apparently fall:

  • Capricorn: Jan. 20-Feb. 16

  • Aquarius: Feb. 16-March 11

  • Pisces: March 11-April 18

  • Aries: April 18-May 13

  • Taurus: May 13-June 21

  • Gemini: June 21-July 20

  • Cancer: July 20-Aug. 10

  • Leo: Aug. 10-Sept. 16

  • Virgo: Sept. 16-Oct. 30

  • Libra: Oct. 30-Nov. 22

  • Scorpio: Nov. 23-29

  • Ophiuchus: Nov. 29-Dec. 17

  • Sagittarius: Dec. 17-Jan. 20

Didn’t all previous horoscopical mumbo-jumbo rely on there being only 12 signs for the accuracy of prognostications? Can it be that all those world-renowned astrologers, down through the ages, advising emperors and kings, were operating from false information? Or worse, that they were merely out to scam the over-credulous out of their cash? Could that kindly Romanian lady with the shop over the candy store in Long Island City have been making it all up about my one day being night manager of not one, but two Wawas?

Of course, I’d like to think that all Christians are chortling right about now, the Scriptures being rather explicit in their condemnation of astrologers, soothsayers, and mimes. That did not stop a buncha popes from indulging ; even Luther’s right-hand man, Philipp Melanchthon, indulged, to the master’s utter consternation.

I tell you, you go to sleep one day thinking, “I’m a Sagittarius! Sign of the centaur! My planet is Jupiter! I’m optimistic and fiery when I’m not avoiding and glossing over serious problems!,” only to wake up an Ophiuchian. “I am a serpent holder and will leave home at an early age.”

What’s next? Chinese fortunes cookies are massed-produced ?

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